Uday Shumsher Rana of Nepali Congress (NC) and Nawaraj Silwal of CPN-UML are set for another face-off in Lalitpur Constituency-1.
The ruling coalition has fielded Rana as its common candidate for the November 20 elections, while UML has not forged any alliance in the constituency.
Gopal Raj Rai of Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP), Sandeep Acharya of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), Kabindra Dangol of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP), Manish Bahadur Shrestha of Loktantrik Samajwadi Party (LSP), Sachin Kumar Ghimire of Rastriya Swatantra Party and a few independent candidates are also vying for a House of Representatives berth from Lalitpur-1.
The constituency comprises Konjyosom, Bagmati and Mahankal rural municipalities, as well as wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13 of Godavari Municipality.
NC is ahead in terms of votes received by parties in the wards of Lalitpur-1 in the local level elections held on May 13. Ward chair candidates from NC received 23,858 votes, while those from UML got 18,993 votes.
Similarly, CPN (Maoist Center) candidates received 6,133 votes, RPP candidates secured 1,757 votes, and independents got 1,657 votes.
Ruling coalition partners NC and Maoist Center have 29,991 votes combined. As UML has not collaborated with any party in the constituency, there is a wide gap between the ruling coalition and UML in terms of votes.
Silwal had won the 2017 election from Lalitpur-1 as the common candidate of UML and Maoist Center’s left alliance securing 26,951 votes. Rana, the NC candidate, had received 20,729 votes.
Silwal is a former deputy inspector general (DIG) of Nepal Police. He had joined UML on October 6, 2017 after he could not become the inspector general (IG). Silwal had moved the Supreme Court after the then government promoted Jaya Bahadur Chand to the post of IG.
The government had then appointed Prakash Aryal as the IG on the basis of work performance evaluation.
Silwal had resigned from his post and joined politics after the apex court scrapped his writ petition upholding the government’s decision. He had then contested and won the election from Lalitpur-1 as UML candidate.
But the political scenario is different now. Maoist Center, which had supported Silwal back then, is part of the ruling coalition now and is backing Rana as its common candidate. UML has also split, with the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction forming CPN (Unified Socialist). Amid all this, Silwal faces a tough challenge against the ruling coalition candidate.
The recent local election results show a big gap between the ruling coalition and UML in Lalitpur-1 in terms of votes, but it cannot yet be said with certainty how many votes will be transferred.
Hari Dahal of Maoist Center and Min Krishna Maharjan of NC are the ruling coalition candidates for the provincial assembly in Lalitpur-1 (A) and Lalitpur-1 (B), respectively. As Maoist Center has also fielded its candidate for the provincial assembly election, chances of vote transfer are high.
Madhusudan Paudel is contesting the provincial assembly election from UML in Lalitpur-1 (A) and Chetnath Sanjel is the party’s candidate in Lalitpur-1 (B).
Silwal says that he is dedicated to serving the people and that he will win the election. He says that he will work for the people with his experience of serving the country and working in development, security and political sectors.
Meanwhile, Rana says that he did not join politics to only become a lawmaker and that he has plans to develop Lalitpur-1. He says that the democratic-left alliance is necessary at present for the country’s prosperity and for protecting the constitution, adding that the alliance will continue after the elections too.